When the FDA shared its findings about the low representation of minority groups in clinical trials and recommend that trials needed to work towards better representation of minorities, many people were quick to argue that there was no substance to back up their recommendations. Yet, when you consider that 75% of the candidates who take part in trials are white, 8% are black, 6% are Asian and 11% are Hispanic it is clear that there is a lot to be done to level the playing field.
Since the findings were published, many experts have now come forward to share why they believe diversity is the key to improved trial outcomes. We’ve shared the main reasons below to provide the explanation that many people have been missing.
Diversity Equals Completeness
One of the most obvious reasons that diversity is essential in clinical trials is that it offers the research team a broader range of information from a variety of ethnic and racial groups. This information is clearly important as we know that many illnesses affect different groups of people more severely than others, helping us to locate biomarkers and learn more about the whys and the hows. Ultimately, if a research team does not have access to a diverse range of people, they are left trying to solve a problem without all the required information, making it impossible for them to achieve their goals.
Diversity Improves Medical Trust
The lack of trust in medicine is a clear issue for those in minority groups, especially when you consider the way medicine has treated them over the years. Medical bias, poor treatment of individuals, and a system that doesn’t represent minority groups have caused a deep rift that is perpetuated by stories of mistreatment. By improving diversity in medical trials, more people will get to experience positive treatment and feel more likely to trust medical practitioners. In addition, this newfound trust will also become part of the wider dialogue within minority groups, helping to change the narrative that has been in place for so long.
Diversity Breaks Down Barriers
Whether people want to accept it or not, the lack of representation in clinical trials is just one of the barriers that people of color face when trying to access the world of medicine. Sadly, the historic problems of access for minority groups have created a chasm that stops access to care and information that could be used to better the lives of entire groups of people. By improving the rates of minority groups in clinical trials, people will become part of medical solutions and may feel more empowered to seek support when they need it.
Diversity is important in all aspects of life science, including within the staffing structure of the clinical trial teams and companies. At GeneCoda®, we work hard to support companies to find a diverse range of candidates for vacant positions. If you need help recruiting a diverse life science team, then get in touch with us to find out what we can do for you!